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How to Use LinkedIn to Promote Your Personal Brand

These tips for improving your LinkedIn profile will make you a stronger job candidate

By Carol Ross

I’ve seen hundreds of LinkedIn profiles and have noticed that if the Summary section is filled in at all (often it’s blank), it merely reiterates information in the rest of the profile.

(MORE: How to Ask for a LinkedIn Introduction and Get One)
 

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Here are four keys to developing your brand story in the sections of your LinkedIn profile mentioned above: 

  • Be introspective. Identify your passions, talents, competencies, values, beliefs and wisdom. In short, know thyself. That's fundamental to describing who you are, at your core.
  • Gather feedback. It helps to get an outside perspective. Ask your clients, colleagues or managers: “What is distinctive about the way I approach my work and the results that I produce?” Incorporate that information into your profile.
  • Identify a theme. Figure out the thread that ties together your disparate jobs, projects and passions then put that into your profile as well. Susan Arnold, a Denver startup executive, conveys her brand story with the simple phrase: “Dream It, Implement It, Achieve It.” 
  • Describe formative moments in your life. Often, these moments play a part in the development of your theme. They could include an achievement in high school, a painful lesson you once learned or a failed business venture. Ask yourself, “How have these moments contributed to who I am today?” The LinkedIn profile of TV and film producer Victoria Cummings shows how a powerful experience early in her career sparked what for her became an important theme: not taking no for an answer.

One last tip: Your brand story is not static. It evolves as you do. So you'll want to continually update your LinkedIn profile, ensuring that your brand is always fresh and enticing to prospective employers.

Carol Ross is a Bell Labs engineer turned career coach, entrepreneur, speaker, and writer. She has created career development programs to help talented midcareer professionals be more successful in a competitive, increasingly digital marketplace. Her passion is helping misfits find their place in the world. Find out more at standoutandbelong.com. Contact her on LinkedIn or by email. Read More
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